Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How Important Is It to Know the Truth?

"Our salvation depends on a knowledge of the truth contained in the Scriptures." COL 111

"I saw that the saints must have a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures." EW 262

"All who join the ranks of Sabbath-keepers should become diligent Bible students, that they may know the pillars and ground work of the truth. . . . With what care should everyone come to the study of the Scriptures! With what determination to know all that it is possible for him to know of the reasons of every point of the faith." 10MR 171

"We should exert all the power of the mind in the study of the Scriptures and should task the understanding to comprehend, as far as mortals can, the deep things of God." GC 599

"They need to go deeper and deeper into the study of the things of God." RH April 15, 1915

"We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women." TM 119

"Our people have been regarded as too insignificant to be worthy of notice, but a change will come. The Christian world is now making movements which will necessarily bring commandment-keeping people into prominence. . . . Every soul will be tested. . . . Every position of our faith will be searched into; and if we are not thorough Bible students, established, strengthened, and settled, the wisdom of the world's great men will lead us astray." 5T 546

"This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear." 5T 707, 708

"But there must be earnest study and close investigation. Sharp, clear perceptions of truth will never be the reward of indolence. . . . It is essential for old and young, not only to read God's word, but to study it with wholehearted earnestness, praying and searching for truth as for hidden treasure." COL 111

Friday, April 12, 2013

Having Ears to Hear

On more than one occasion Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35). And in His letter to each of Revelation's seven churches Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). And once again in Revelation 13:9 we find the words, "If any man have an ear, let him hear."

Of the Bereans we are told, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

"If there is a point of truth that you do not understand, upon which you do not agree, investigate, compare scripture with scripture, sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God's Word. You must lay yourselves and your opinions on the altar of God, put away your preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide you into all truth." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 413.

"There are many among us who are prejudiced against the doctrines that are now being discussed. They will not come to hear, they will not calmly investigate, but they put forth their objections in the dark. They are perfectly satisfied with their position." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 413.

"I have been shown the case of Brother P. . . .  His sin was not that he did not receive that which he sincerely believed to be error, but that he did not investigate diligently and gain a knowledge of what he was opposing." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 695.

"As a people we are called individually to be students of prophecy. We must watch with earnestness that we may discern any ray of light which God shall present to us. We are to catch the first gleamings of truth; and through prayerful study clearer light may be obtained, which can be brought before others.

"When God's people are at ease and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward to receive the increased and ever-increasing light which is shining for them. The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light. We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep. God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 708, 709.

"But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God's word, and discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures. They become conservative, and seek to avoid discussion." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 706, 707.

"They have felt that investigation should not be permitted, that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 105.

"We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing? The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God's word, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Pharisaism cherished among us." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 107.

"Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it. We are under obligation to God to know what He sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,–'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' If the light presented meets this test, we are not to refuse to accept it because it does not agree with our ideas." Gospel Workers, pp. 300, 301.

"When a message is presented to God's people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to put His grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day; for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 416.

"No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ. But many do not do this. When a controverted point is presented, they pour in question after question, without admitting a point when it is well sustained. O, may we act as men who want light!" Gospel Workers, p. 301.

"The truth will be criticized, scorned, and derided; but the closer it is examined and tested, the brighter it will shine." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 201.

"The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions." The Great Controversy, p. 607.

"When a brother receives new light upon the Scriptures, he should frankly explain his position, and every minister should search the Scriptures with the spirit of candor, to see if the points presented can be substantiated by the Inspired Word." Gospel Workers, p. 303.

"We are on dangerous ground when we cannot meet together like Christians, and courteously examine controverted points. I feel like fleeing from the place lest I receive the mold of those who cannot candidly investigate the doctrines of the Bible. Those who cannot impartially examine the evidences of a position that differs from theirs, are not fit to teach in any department of God's cause." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 411.

"The rebuke of the Lord will rest upon those who would bar the way, that clearer light shall not come to the people. . . . Let no one run the risk of interposing between the people and the message of Heaven. This message will go to the people; and if there were no voice among men to give it, the very stones would cry out." Gospel Workers, p. 304.

"In 1844, when anything came to our attention that we did not understand, we kneeled down and asked God to help us take the right position; and then we were able to come to a right understanding and see eye to eye. There was no dissension, no enmity, no evil-surmising, no misjudging of our brethren. If we but knew the evil of the spirit of intolerance, how carefully would we shun it!" Gospel Workers, p. 302.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Essential Christian Confession of Faith

What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? Matthew 22:42
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15

Q. To what did John the Baptist bear record? John 1:34
A. “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
Q. What did Nathanael confess? John 1:49
A. “Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
Q. What was Peter's great confession? Matthew 16:16
A. “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Q. What did all the disciples assert? Matthew 14:33; John 6:69
A. “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."
A. “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
Q. What was Martha's testimony? John 11:27
A. “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
Q. What did God Himself declare? 2 Peter 1:17
A. “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Q. What truth did Satan challenge? Luke 4:3, 9
A. “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”
A. “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence.”
Q. Why did the Jews condemn Jesus? John 19:7; John 10:36
A. “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
A. “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”
Q. What was the issue at His trial? Luke 22:70
A. “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God?”
Q. What doubt was hurled at Christ on the cross? Matthew 27:40
A. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
Q. What did the Centurion confess? Matthew 27:54
A. “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
Q. What does Christ's resurrection declare about Him? Romans 1:4
A. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
Q. What truth did the Ethiopian eunuch believe? Acts 8:37
A. “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Q. What was Paul's message? Acts 9:20
A. “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.”
Q. What was the burden of John's gospel? John 20:31
A. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Q. Who can overcome the world? 1 John 5:5
A. “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Q. What question is left for us? John 9:35
A. “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”